No One Said It Was Going To Be Easy

This is the part where I pull a wrinkled news paper out from between the cushion of an old leather chair, and straighten it out in front of me. The date: May 3rd, 2017. The headline reads:

“Twenty-Something Year Old Makes Quick Decision To Quit Job, Empty Bank Account, Say Goodbye To Friends & Family, Pack Car Full Of Belongings, And Move Half-Way Across The Country To Start Life Anew.”

And here we are!

It’s been one week since I pulled into the driveway of my Dad’s house here in Skagit Valley, car packed, exhausted, and teary eyed. The journey was long, my emotions where out of control, but in the end I am happy to be back in the Pacific Northwest and I know that it will be worth it.

I was joined by my best friend on the drive to my new home, which was comforting, and made the transformation a little easier. She followed in her car, with her little one, and at least once an hour we were talking about the drive via phone. We shared a motel room in Bozeman, MT to rest after a long day of packing, working, and driving, and then headed out in the morning towards my home in Mount Vernon, WA. Along the way I would catch her laughing at me, and my jam sessions, through the rear view mirror, and we would call each other to laugh about it.

I’m not going to lie, it was hard to leave the comfort of South Dakota behind me. I cried, a lot, but you know what? I am going to come back. I will visit. It was not a final goodbye. Leaving the place you grew up in, and know by heart sucks, but it will always be there. Right where you left it. I also cried when I reached the Cascades. (It was a very emotional trip.) At the first sight of the Washington I know so well, and have loved my entire life.. I totally lost it.

Every dream, and every goal just seemed so close. Or maybe I’m just overly dramatic. Either way, I made it here, FINALLY!

The last week has been great! Busy, for sure, but great. So far I have:

  • Unpacked everything! (WOOHOOOOO!)
  • Shown the best friend and her Littles the ocean.
  • Been to the islands.
  • Opened a bank account.
  • Gotten a new Drivers License.
  • Sent out resume and applications. (Unemployment is freaking me out.)
  • Spent time with the family. (Biological & not.)
  • Went to Seattle (China town!!)
  • Guardians of the Galaxy 1 & 2, double feature, in I-MAX 3D (Because I’m slightly nerdy.)
  • And spent A LOT of time with my friends up in Bellingham, having fun and finding my way around. (The plan is to live there.)

It’s helpful to have people already here. Friends that I’ve known for years, that I trust. I got lucky that way. One of my favorite people is here, and thank God for him because he’s made everything so much better. 10 years of sticking by my side, no matter what, back and forth between being here and being 18 hours away, I know I will never be alone here. I already feel at home.

I guess my point is to not be afraid to go after the things you have always dreamt about, but to be aware that making the big changes WILL be scary, and might suck at first, you just have to power through it. You have to take time to adjust. You will miss that little town you always wanted to leave, but everything will be ok.

Live Bravely!

Always,

Danielle B.

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May 11, 2017. Mount Vernon, WA

What is “Home”.

A roman philosopher by the name of Gaius Plinius Secundus, or Pliny the Elder, first said “home is where the heart is” almost two thousand years ago. I’m sure he didn’t realize just how vastly this phrase could be taken, but in any case, it’s my personal opinion that he nailed it.

When I was a child I used to think that home had to be a place. This only confused me, because since the day of my third halloween I have had two homes. Two bedrooms. Two daycares. Two groups of friends. Two addresses, in two very different states.

Some of you may be thinking, “LUCKY!!! You get double everything!”. Well, yes, I do concider myself lucky. I love my life, both homes, and I wouldn’t change any of it for the world. BUT, it’s not all just a can of peaches. There are a lot of things that come with having your heart streached between 18 hours of travel time.

So, I have made a list (because I love lists) of quite a few pros and cons that should be understood of people who grew up with two homes. If you are about to be put in this situation, if you know someone in this situation, if you’re going through it and feel alone, or if your just curious- this is for you.

Let’s start with the cons, since taking bad news first is always best.

1. Usually, this happened because the parents are divorced. In my case, yes, which is on paper, very sad. My parents where younger than I am right now when they were married, brought together by a series of “fate” filled events. I have been told that it wasn’t the greatest at first (after the divorce), but they never let me see that part of it. In this con, I am truely lucky, because my parents have proven that even if a relationship doesn’t work out, that doesn’t mean a friendship won’t.

2. Feeling more connected to one place over the other. This sucks. Especially for the parent living in the other place. You get so caught up in how much you LOVE the one home, that you unintentionally make the other less than, and make a parent feel unloved by their own child. Heartbreaking. I talk a lot about one home, and not much about the other, but I feel it should be noted for family that may be reading this– I LOVE BOTH of my homes equally. One is not greater than the other, they are perfect in their own unique ways.

3. Your friends change and move on without you. Before you leave to go to your other home, you may have a great thing going with an amazing group of friends. People change. They get into arguements. They make other friends. Before you know it you’re coming back expecting to start where you left off, surrounded by friends, and things are not at all the same. And you missed it, so have fun playing catch up!

4. You want serious, long relationship? We shall see about that. Haha. I’m not saying it’s not possible, I’m just saying it’s really hard. I had a lot of great relationships throughout highschool, but none of them even made it halfway through the length of time I was gone. Just saying.

5. Get ready to miss A LOT of the important stuff. Graduations. Engagements. Weddings. Final goodbyes. Funerals… Bonding with a new pet- (they will think that your bed is theirs, and then be pissed at you when you steal it for a while). TIP: ask someone to take lots of pictures, and send them to you, that is the only way you will experience these things. Also, facebook is your best friend.

6. The pain of goodbyes is very familiar. You will have to tell everyone you love “Goodbye”, at least once a year. There will be tears, and hugs, and it will hurt. A LOT. Have you ever had open heart surgery? My guess is that it feels something like that. Either way, it’s not fun. I hate it. And, when you get older, and decide to roadtrip between homes (Because it’s the best), I recommend having a friend with you that can at least drive out of town for you. I say that from experience, because once you see that “Welcome to..” sign in your rearview, you are going to fight the urge to turn the car around.

Alrighty then, how about some pros? Those are way more fun.

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1. Travel experience out the butt!!! Woohoo! You, my friend, are going to have all the rules for airport security down before you can even solve a long division problem. IN FACT, you might end up being better at getting to your gate then someone who works at the airport. (Side note: When your under a certian age, and flying alone, they have someone watch you on your layover. This lady put me in my seat on the wrong plane, and I am the one who caught it. I was nine.) Also, your going to be so good at holding it when you have to go to the bathroom, that for the rest of your life you arn’t even going to know that you have to go, until you HAVE TO GO NOW! And not to brag, but I’m like my own compass. YAY for traveling, and pretty places!

2. You have some of the best stories! In your teenage years, most of your friends have never been to this mystical place that you disappear to all the time, so you look pretty awesome when you start telling them all about the places you go and the things that you do. Especially when your two homes are in South Dakota, and in Washington. Washington kids can not comprehend plains, and little trees. South Dakota kids think that the black hills are mountians, and that all ocean beaches are sandy and warm like Hawaii. So you have seen some things. Annd, you are a really good driver in “bad” weather. (You know, because one of your homes doesn’t have as extreme weather conditions as the other, so they’re not used to it like you are.)

3. If you need an escape, you’ve got one coming! I had a little dramatic issue when I was probably 14 years old, between my ex and my best friend (that’s real stuff in highschool ok!) Anyways, I was SO glad that a couple weeks later I was leaving. I didn’t have to think about it, just got excited about seeing my other friends, and for new adventures.

4. Two fully furniched, comfy, FREE room when traveling. Because if your traveling through the area, you know the parentals are gonna want to see you. Hug you. Feed you. Sit in bed and watch TV while eating loads of salad with you. Also, it’s a comfortable place that you already know, and your own bed.

5. All the peoplesss. Do I even need to get into it? You’re gonna have a lot of people. Plain and simple. You got a decent amount of friends in both places. You got family in both places. You have your parent’s friends, who are like family, in both places. It’s a lot… but they are soo worth it!

6. Also, congradulations, you better get a big christmas tree.

So there you have it. A basic list of pros and cons for growing up in two different places. As you can see, it’s equally as tough on a kid as it is exciting, and adventurous. It definetly makes you stronger emotionally. In case you haven’t figured it out yet, I certianly blame my restless wanderlust on how I grew up.. and I love it.

From the rolling plains of South Dakota to the evergreen Puget Sound area of Washington, and everywhere in between, my heart longs for the constant travels, and rejoices in all the memories. Home is not a place, it’s a feeling of happiness and content. The heart is an organ of firey passion; it will let you know when you are home.

What are your thoughts about “home”? About growing up in two places? Is there anything you would add to my list? Drop it in the comments!!!

Live Bravely!

Always,

Danielle B.

 

Precious Moments of Luxury

img_20161211_013152Every once in a while, it’s nice to splurge on an exciting family tradition. Actually, every once in a while it’s nice to really fun to do something out of the ordinary with the people who have, and will always be by your side no matter what.

Every year around Christmas, a group of my family members pitches in money for a limousine. We all drive down to Story Book Island (a park here in Rapid City), and stand in the arctic temperatures, waiting for this large stretched out vehicle to whisk us away on a snowy holiday night, for two hours.

The Hummer Limo, driven by a family friend, pulled into the parking lot rather quickly this year, saving us from a long icy wait. The 12 of us piled into this fancy, lit up vehicle as quickly as we could, picking our seats, and stripping our winter layers off. We had hardly made it out of the parking lot before the radio was playing old rock songs, and the champagne and sparkling apple cider bottles were being passed around.

Laughter began to fill the air, and the little ones began there own adventures up and down the limo. The point is always to see all the Christmas lights together, in a more extravagant setting than we are used to, but the limo always turns into a temporary family home for us to catch-up with each other and share an exciting experience together.

With all the chatting, and laughter, the windows always end up fogged over, and me being me, I always want to take pictures. I had to get a bit creative this year, because we forgot to bring paper towels to clear the fog, and ended up with the above photos.

Our annual Christmas tradition all in all was a success. So many great memories are made from small little moments of fun and happiness, never forget to enjoy where you are, and what you have. I recommend taking a moment during the seasons to splurge on an exciting, and out-of-the-ordinary adventure with the people who mean the most to you. And, of course, have a merry Christmas, it will be the only Christmas of 2016 we will ever get.

Live Bravely!

Always,

Danielle B.

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